Sunday, August 21, 2011

Independent, traditional, eclectic, and more!

I finally managed today to return my copy of Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks book to the friend I borrowed it from. I think the most useful part to me was the questionnaire portion which helps you determine which teaching style you prefer. I wrote earlier how I ended up with scores very close together for almost all of the styles. Well, after getting a bit more hands-on experience with homeschooling, trying out a few things, and checking out more curriculum, I thought I'd redo the questionnaire and see if my thoughts were any clearer or different.

My scores this time were definitely more widespread. I went from a low of 41.2% (unschooling) to a high of 87.5% (independent), instead of everything being clustered around the 40-50th percentile. Kinda funny - you can see how after attempting to teach hands-on for a few months, I have definitely strengthened my desire to get the kids to work independently! My previous ranking for independent study was still the 2nd highest, but was only 54.2%.

Traditional and umbrella approaches turned out tied for 2nd place at 72.7%. This is quite in keeping with my current decision to use the traditional textbook approach of Bob Jones (added in with the independence aspect of using the distance learning videos). Traditional and umbrella approaches were tied for 3rd place the first time I took the questionnaire.

My original 1st place choice, the classical approach, went down to 3rd place at 69%, followed by eclectic (58.3%), Charlotte Mason (54.8%), unit studies (50%), and finally unschooling (41.2%). These are pretty much in the same order as my original rankings - just more widely spaced percentage-wise.

I do still like the classical and Charlotte-Mason approaches, to some extent, but they are very parent-intensive. I am still using a CM approach for science and mostly history. As I've read others say, science is mostly exposure in elementary school, and the more hands-on, the better. We are having fun doing science right now, and I don't forsee changing to a more traditional method until jr. high or high school. I do like teaching all the kids together, and directly, for a least a few things. As I mentioned last time, I have found many correlations between our Intro to Science course and the BJU science videos, and have been letting the kids watch a video or two a week that goes along with our topic. For 1st grade, I see nothing in BJU science that contradicts my old earth belief.

(I'll add a warning though - the reading portion of BJU grade 1 English lesson #150 does contain a very anti-old earth message, along with what I consider to be false information, so we will be skipping that one.)

I'll continue next time with history.

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